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5 Simple Ways To Save Money On Home Maintenance

Buying a house is the biggest investment or decision that most people will make. This is why it’s just fitting and right to keep it at its tip top shape by doing regular maintenance to avoid costly repairs.

Some people think that home maintenance can be quite costly and expensive. Well, it can be if you don’t have any idea or knowledge on what to do. Luckily, there are tons of tips and tricks online that can teach how to do simple home repairs without breaking your wallet.  Some of the best ones are as follows.

Rent tools or buy second hand

If you need a certain tool for a project, don’t buy a brand new one just for it, just rent it. There are several websites that offers tools for rent. You can also post about it on your social media wall (Facebook or Twitter) and quite sure, some of your friends could help.  Some may even let you use the tool without paying a dime for it.

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Save materials from past projects

Don’t throw out excess materials from past project, save them and store them for future use. Those extra pieces of screws, bolts and nuts can be useful for some of your home maintenance projects in the future so don’t trash them yet. And if you just need few pieces of these materials, you can always ask a friend and see if they have any spare or leftover.

🔩🔧Screw nuts 🔩🔧

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Use recycled paint

If you are not that “delicate” when it comes to paint colors or brand, you can always use those recycled paint often found at paint stores or hardware stores. Recycled paints are those paints mixed incorrectly so they are often sold in much cheaper prices.  You can use this kind of paint at your garage, basement or attic.

As you can see, staff were very busy here at @seagullspaint today. Made in The Middle picked a route around the pots in an impromptu search for ‘Chocolate brown’ this lunchtime. Man at The Middle located a (delicious looking) ‘milk chocolate’ but not the mysterious mocha tone he had in mind. We may return for ‘a mix’ … but we still left with a little dabble of free paint … on my sleeve! 😂 #paint #Leeds #recycledpaint #supportingthecommunity #mosaicexperts #paintmixers #mixingpaint #paintpots #paintden #yorkshirepaintexperts #messytrousers #splat #blob #splutter #wearappropriateclothesforvisting

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Do preventive maintenance

Remember, prevention is better than cure so it’s a good idea to keep your home free from damage-causing materials or so.  Sweep debris regularly off your roof to prevent moisture and mold from building up. Same thing goes with your basement and attic – make sure to clean them up once in a while. Check out the corners for possible cracks or holes. Look on your pipes and make sure that everything is in good working condition.

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Keep everything organized

Keep your workspace, tools and materials organized at all times. An organized workspace can give you a clear view of what’s missing and what materials you don’t have to buy. This can also save you a lot of time (time is money, right?) so before your start doing the task, organize your stuff.

Use the wall and shelving to keep items organized in the garage. From thisoldhouse.com #garage #organizedgarage #garageorganization #tool #organizedtools

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Featured image credit: wnk1029 via Pixabay

Breaks, Leaks, and Mains: When Should You Do-It-Yourself and When Do You Need Help?

Live in one place long enough, and odds will be something will break.

Whether owning, renting, leasing, or even just house sitting, anyplace where a person can live can fall victim to basic maintenance needs. But when they do, the owner/renter will have an important decision to make: should they call a professional, or can they repair it themselves?

Weighing Your Choices

There are many reasons for wanting to attempt a do-it-yourself repair job: a chance to save money, an opportunity to use/gain maintenance skills, and even a good boost to the ego. After all, nothing says self-reliant like fixing the problem yourself.

When considering any repair job, the owner/renter needs to ask themselves several important questions. To start with, what kind of damage was suffered? How long will it take a person to finish the repair? Does the work required fall into the individual’s skill set, or can it be completed just by following the instructions. A hold in the drywall can be fixed with a drywall patch, and fixing a screen patio door might only require new netting and 10 minutes of your afternoon. Small do-it-yourself projects can be gratifying for the time, energy, and money a person can save by doing it themselves.

Day 281: Home improvement hear me roar (in other words I fixed some broken shower tiles this weekend). #365photos #homerepairs #tiles #homesweethome

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What’s The Cost?

Depending on the severity of the repair job, the owner/renter should then consider the cost of repair. Any type of repair job will require tools, time, funds, and energy to complete, and if the owner/renter lacks any of these, they might want to consider calling a professional to address the problem.

Sometimes, the cost of performing a do-it-yourself project might be more expensive than hiring a professional. The owner/renter needs to check their ego when making this consideration. Even if they believe the repair job can be easily done, they may lack the time to address the problem themselves. And if they lack the material and tools to do the job, paying a professional may be more feasible than going to a hardware store and buying everything they would need.

Sanding done….taping done…time to paint! #homeimprovement #homerepairs #painting #handyman #weekendwarrior

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There are also safety costs to consider, as well. Home improvement jobs can result in high medical bills should an accident occur.

Consider the Options

The best way to make a decision between DIY and calling for help rests with considering the costs of the project. Don’t just think about the initial fees and expenses of purchasing materials or having a professional swing by to take a look. Think about whether the benefits of handling a repair job on your own outweighs the benefits of calling for help.

If a broken toilet seat can be replaced by a trip to a hardware store, don’t worry about calling a plumber. If a fence needs to be put up immediately and the contractor can’t address the problem for several days, consider doing it yourself.

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And think about preventive methods as well. Tiny efforts like switching out the air filters and cleaning out lint traps can keep appliances running smoothly for years. Make a habit out of being proactive with a home’s maintenance needs.

Featured image credit: handycrowd / pixabay

How To Remodel Your Los Angeles Home After Water Damage

No amount of preparation will help you to deal with damage when disaster strikes in your home. After surviving something as scary as a hurricane, we are reminded how vulnerable we are to Mother Nature.

Here are some steps that you can take to remodel your home after water damage:

Dry It Out

The first thing you should do as soon as the danger passes is contact a nearby disaster recovery team to dry your carpet and furniture. Has your home office also been affected? Find out the office carpet cleaning prices before calling in the experts.

Depending on the time of year, you can either open the windows or turn up your heating system. Do as much as you can to remove the moisture from the soaked items in your house. Excess moisture is not good as it might lead to mold growth.

Contact The Insurance Company

Home Interior Style

Call your insurance company as soon as possible to evaluate the damage. You also need to work together with an adjuster to come up with a fair figure. As soon as the adjuster arrives at your home, he or she will take note of the steps you have taken to mitigate damage.

Inspect For Mold

After the adjuster looks at your home and most of the moisture is gone, he or she should take samples from your ceiling and wall surfaces. You can have the samples tested to see whether any mold spores are present. Unbeknownst to you, black mold can grow inside your walls and cause serious health issues.

After the samples are off to the lab, be patient in waiting for the results, which could take a few days. There is no point in starting your remodeling project without knowing how much of the ceiling and drywall needs replacement.

Begin Construction

When you receive the green light on the mold test, start thinking about reconstruction. At this point, you might know how much the insurance company will pay you. If you are staying at the damaged property, be ready to live at a construction site. You can prepare yourself by putting up dust barriers.

Because your plumbing might be affected during the remodeling project, you need plumbing services. According to the owner of https://www.plumbingfix.com/los-angeles, hiring a good plumber is essential if you want to be assured you will get the best services.

Consider Upgrades Carefully

Home Interior White

Consider the upgrades you plan to make carefully. If you start updating things that are not damaged, it can be a slippery slope from there. You need to know where to draw the line when making upgrades. For instance, if you want to replace your ancient countertops with modern ones, look at your finances and ask yourself if the change is really necessary.

Review Insurance Coverage

When taking out insurance, you might overlook many things that you will regret later. Aside from furniture, you also need to consider the cost of buying and installing new drywall. Of course, do not forget the floors and ceiling when choosing an insurance policy.

You also need to factor in the cost of electrical work, plumbing, and painting. When you look at it from this point of view, you will be able to save yourself from problems much later.

Check In On The Progress

If you are not staying at the construction site, be ready to travel several times to see the work being done. You need to approve the paint and material selections. If you do not check in, things could go wrong and you will end up with more problems.

How to Deal with Common House Disasters

Whether you are renting a small apartment or living on a sprawling estate, household disasters will strike. You need to know how to deal with the most common ones and be ready for any eventuality. These are the most common household disasters that could strike a home:

Water Leakage

Water Pipe

If one of your pipes starts leaking, you need to fix the problem as soon as possible. Start by shutting off the main water valve before you call in the plumber. If water has risen to the level of electric plugs, you need to get out of the house immediately to avoid electrocution. Calling a plumber is one of the first things you should do after shutting off the water valve.

When it comes to dealing with the aftermath of a flood take the advice of Restoration Elite: if you are able to drain the water from your house, your floors should dry naturally or use fans. If your floor was only submerged for a little while, you might be able to salvage it.

Electrical Blackout

You might not have any control over this one at all. If you find yourself in the dark, here are some steps that you can take:

  • Find alternate sources of light such as flashlights and candles.
  • Turn off any electrical appliances you were using before the blackout.
  • When you open your fridge or freezer, remove anything that gives off a bad odor.
  • During the day, clear all obstructions to make it easier to move around at night.
  • Take the necessary weather-related precautions when taking care of children and the elderly.

Roof Leaks

Roof LeaksDoes your roof have any damage? Unfortunately, you will only find out when you start seeing water damage on your ceiling and walls. The longer you wait to fix your roof the more damage you will have to repair. Therefore, call in the roof-fixing experts, like southjerseyroofers.com, as soon as you notice any water damage on your ceiling or walls. This way, you will not have to spend more money on replacing your walls and ceilings.

Blocked Toilet

Although toilets with old plumbing block more than newer ones, this is not a guarantee that the new plumbing is ideal. Blocked toilets might be the most disgusting home disasters you will ever have to deal with. If you think your toilet is clogged, do not flush it.

If you can see the cause of the blockage, put on some gloves and remove the object. However, if the clog is a result of biological waste, use a plunger to remove it. If nothing happens after a few minutes, call in the experts.

Broken Glass

Broken GlassIf you have broken some glass, pick it up before anyone steps on it. As soon as the glass drops, stop moving and observe the floor around you. Do you have any injuries? You need to take care of them first.

The next thing is to put on some shoes and gloves, then pick up the bigger pieces of glass. For the smaller pieces, use a broom and a dustpan to collect them. Once you’ve gathered the smaller bits of glass, vacuum the area to ensure there are no more pieces left.

Fire

If you notice a fire, try to open the dampers then close your doors and windows to keep it contained. Next, you have to get your pets and children out of the house before calling the fire department.

How To Unclog A Drain – Home Maintenance Tips

No matter how careful you are in the kitchen (or bathroom), getting the occasional clogged drain is part of life. Professionals like the Plumbing Detectives (a busy plumber in Lane Cove) are often called for blocked drains even though many home-owners can often take care of these problems on their own. Here’s how:

Use a Plunger

Plumber At Work

The classic approach is the good old sink plunger. It creates a seal around the drain and when you push down on the handle, it forces water and air downward to blow out the clog. The key is to get a good seal all the way around the drain. If you don’t, the water and air just bubbles out into the sink.

And while we’re on the subject of plungers, you will want to make sure you are using the right type for the sink. Sink plungers are a simple cup of rubber, but one for the toilet has a second cylinder inside that cup for better drain suction. You may be able to use a toilet plunger in the sink but it will be awkward to use because it is sized for the larger toilet drain.

A Drain Snake

If the plunger isn’t getting the job done, you may need to step up your game with a drain snake. This is what most professional plumbers use, and you can get a reasonably-priced one at most hardware or home improvement stores.

It is a long flexible tube with a claw section at the end that you unwind down the drain. Though flexible enough to move through the bends in the pipe, it is stiff enough to put a lot of force to the clog once you start working. You just send the snake down until it stops, then twist and pull with it to break up the blockage.

The Chemical Option

Plumbing Tools

Both of these suggestions so far are “mechanical” in that they use physical force to disrupt the blockage. You can also try the chemical route, with either store-bought drain cleaner or a more natural DIY mixture.

Drain cleaning products are quite caustic and will literally eat away at the clog (which is usually made up of organic material like food, grease or hair). After allowing the chemicals to work for a time, the block just dissolves away. They can be very toxic and not everyone is happy with the fumes and risk associated with them. Even so, they do work and can have their place.

On the other hand, you can use more natural options to create a similar effect. A common mixture is vinegar and baking soda, which will give a strong fizzing reaction when they mix. Granted, this will only work if the clog is fairly close to the drain because pouring baking soda will only go so far. Anyway, pour about 1 cup of each down the drain, then plug the hole. The fizzing and gas build-up can be enough to dislodge the problem in about half an hour.

Hopefully one of these methods will help get things running smoothly again for you without having to call in the professional.

 

Home Repair Tips – What To Check After A Hurricane Hits

No one can stop a natural disaster from happening. And whatever preparation we have in place, damage and destruction is always bound to happen.

This is what a destructive hurricane does to our homes. Our preparation, no matter how good it is, is sometimes not enough to prevent damage to property. So after a hurricane hit, it’s best to check your house for possible damage that needs to be taken care off immediately. From floor to ceiling, plumbing to electrical wiring – they all must be checked to prevent further damage from happening.

hurricane hits home

What to check after a hurricane

Once the strong winds and rain subsided, it’s highly advisable to check for the following issues around your home to prevent further damage.

Insects and bugs

Strong winds and stagnant water can bring all sorts of insects and bugs around your home. Make sure to check all possible breeding grounds and get rid of them as soon as possible. It’s also best to check your weather stripping and make sure that they are still in place and intact. Look out for the dark corners of your house especially at the basement and attic and make sure that they are free from any kind of pests.

Pipe damage and leaks

If there’s a fallen or uprooted tree around your property, there’s a chance that pipes in your plumbing system is affected. Check how the water flows in your faucets and if there’s something unusual with it (slow drain, change in color, etc.), then hire a plumber immediately.

Mold build-up

There’s a huge chance of mold build-up in your home after a severe storm. If your house is quite old and already has some issues, mold is likely to happen. So better look for any mold build-up and get rid of it as soon as you can.

These tips and advice doesn’t only keep your house standing tall after a hurricane or severe storm, they can also keep you and your family’s health in good form.

Image credit – Pixabay/Krisr1

5 Simple But Very Effective Tips for Furnishing a Small Home

Furnishing a small house doesn’t have to be hard and tricky. The key is to choose furnishings that complement and help maximize your small space. Use multi-functional furniture that serves different purposes. Taking advantage of the wall space can greatly help as well.

Here are some more tips and ideas in furnishing a small home.

Small Wooden House

Storage

Always think about extra storage whenever you are considering buying new furniture. If it’s a new bed, opt for the one that have built-in drawers underneath. Bunk beds with different storage options can do the trick for your kids’ bedroom. The space under the stairs (if you have any) can also be used as extra shelves or drawers. Ottoman with storage is also a good addition at your small home.

Multifunctional

Aside from the extra storage options, also look out for furniture that are multifunctional.  For example, couches that becomes bed, coffee table that can also be used as a work desk and so on. There are lots of multifunctional furniture you can find online so better research them first before buying one.

Easy-to-fold furniture

Opt for furniture that you can fold-out-of-the-way when not in use. Folding chairs, tables, beds and desks are few examples. You can also buy those stackable chairs for your kitchen and dining room.

Make use of your wall

Make use of your vertical space whenever you are thinking about adding extra storage. Wall mounted shelves, cabinets and the like can give you extra space for your books and other light stuff. You can install a hammock that goes above your head for your kids’ small toys and stuffed animals. Adding some hooks at your kitchen wall can also give you a good place to hang your pots and pans.

Throw away unused/broken stuff

Get rid of your non-functional furniture and old household items. Replace them with a new, multifunctional and modern one that can help save space. You can try selling some of your old stuff or better yet donate them to a charity institution. The less stuff you have the better as it can help you get the space that you wanted.

With these tips, you can surely furnish your home easily and more effectively!

Featured image via Tappancs / Pixabay

6 Ways of Achieving a Luxurious Bedroom Look

Your bedroom space does not receive many visitors, and you don’t really need any because here you seek relaxation and peace of mind. Therefore, make it look lavish with just a little bit of effort. Here are some bedroom remodeling tips you can use to create a personal space that would not only give you a goodnight’s sleep, but also positive vibes.

 

Luxury Bedroom Tips

 

  1. Set an Elegant Theme

Give a dramatic effect to your room with an interesting theme. You can go for a brooding contrast of violet with silver or take up the classic zebra pattern and define it all over in your bedroom. If you wish to stick to the nature, nothing speaks natural more than wooden textures, plants and a floral theme. Pick out a theme that suits your taste and let your imagination go wild.

  1. Carpet it

Your bedroom flooring is crucial. Instead of spending thousands to get an extravagant floor, why not cover up the plain floor with carpet instead? Carpet makes your room look bigger and adds more texture and depth to it. If you don’t want to carpet the whole room, a small rug placement is enough to introduce a soft texture and lighten up the mood. It’s better to opt for a heavily designed, dark-shaded carpet to prevent it from dulling quickly. A carpeted floor can also save you from slipping accidents, and provides a bit of support against the hard ground.

  1. Soft Textures and Pillows Can Never be Too Many

It’s as simple as it sounds. Pillows upgrade the appearance of your bedroom in a noticeable way. Arrange soft accent pillows against your bedhead, layering one on top of the other and showing off fancier ones at front. There is an array of pillows available in the market these days, from emoji pillows to mermaid pillows, that can bring your bedroom to life. During the day, they’ll serve as a decoration, and at night, you can bury your head inside the coziness.

  1. Four Poster Bed as a Centerpiece

How good could be a master bedroom without an eye-catching bed at its center? Your bedroom deserves the best. Get a 4 poster bed for your space to give it a royal effect. A raised canopy supported by four posts at each corner speaks for itself. There is no need for other embellishments and attention to detail, because a four-post bed is sure to steal all the focus.

  1. Use Luscious Dropping Curtains

Elegant-looking curtains can drastically improve the temperament of your bedroom. Choose the style that complements the interior and adds to the charm of your personal chamber. It would also act as an excellent insulation medium to stabilize the temperature. Without these luscious drapes, the look of your room will always remain incomplete.

  1. Upgrade your Lighting

Just by renewing your lighting options you can elevate the aesthetics of your bedroom. There are many affordable alternatives such as LED solar lights to provide the same luminescence as offered by expensive ones. Replace your lamp shades with a fresh choice of fabric to create a bit of difference. Refrain from using too many lights. Dim lights render a mellow effect that soothes the senses.

10 Musts To Consider Before Renovating Your Basement

If you are looking for some additional living space, your unfinished basement might be an excellent place to find some. When you are considering throwing money at a Winnipeg renovation contractor to fix up the basement, there are a lot of things to think about ahead of time. Before you dig right in, these are the ten things you have to know to make your basement area exactly what you want with no stress.

Basement Room

Prevent water

If you want to ensure that your basement stays dry, inspect it for any signs of pooling water or drips that might be coming from the walls or foundation. Also, check the outside of the house to look for any problems with the foundation, such as cracks. It is important to fix them before you even consider renovating. Also, for additional protection you might want to consider drain tiles. They help cut the risk of flooding by redirecting water away from your foundation, which can create cracks and let water in.

Know your local codes

Some ordinances require that you have a building permit and some don’t. If you don’t take out the proper permits, it can cost you in the end. If you are planning on doing any electrical or plumbing work, make sure to call your local building department to find out what steps you have to take before you start working.

How are things going to stay together

Renovating a basement is different from other types of additions. It might not just take a couple of nails to fasten things together. Sometimes you need to anchor things, fix parts with masonry work, or even work with blocks or bricks. It is important to make sure that things can be put together before you get halfway into the project and get stuck.

Create a barrier

When you are renovating your basement, moisture can be an issue. To prevent build-up, you will want to create a barrier between the walls and the foundation for condensation. There are a ton of really great materials that will help to not only keep out the cold, but also will stop the walls from trapping in moisture, which can lead to mold or other water issues.

Even things out

If you have uneven walls or rifts in the walls, that will make it very difficult to frame them. You have to create a flat surface by adding symmetry before you attempt to put your framing in for you to put up drywall. Otherwise, your drywall will be a disaster.

Insulate

Because your basement is below ground level, it will be harder to control the temperature unless you insulate properly. Not only will you want to provide the moisture control, but you might also want to add spray foam insulation.

Consider a drop ceiling

The basement will probably have a lot of piping and wires that supply water and energy to the house. Putting in a drop ceiling will ensure that you can still get to things when you need to. Making equipment easily accessible makes things a lot more convenient and inexpensive if you ever need to get at the pipe work to repair it.

Consider baseboard heating

Because heat rises and putting in heating vents on the floor is probably not possible, consider adding baseboard heating to keep your basement warm during cold weather. You can tie the baseboard units into your HVAC system. It will eliminate the need for you to use dangerous space heaters to keep things warm.

You don’t have to finish the utility room

Make sure that you don’t finish the utility room space. That is where you store your furnace, your water heater, and all the other whole-house appliances that service your home. Don’t encase them and make it impossible to service or access them when needed. If you try to cut out too much space and sacrifice convenience, you will end up being sorry in the end.

Your basement can be an excellent way to add living space to your home, but only if it makes good sense. If you have a basement that is prone to flooding or a foundation that has issues, you have to address them before you even consider a basement remodel. Taking the right steps before any work is done will save you money and headaches in the long run.

8 Home Maintenance Tips That You Can Effectively Do This Summer

Summertime is the best time to clean up and upgrade the looks of your house, especially the exterior part. There are lots of things you can do to give your house the “pampering” it needs while the weather is warm. Below is a list of easy-to-do home maintenance projects that you can immediately start up anytime you wanted this summer.

Summer Home

Exterior paint touch-up

Repainting the exterior part of your home is a quick and easy way to give it a brand new, fresh and cool look this summer season.  This is a surefire way to improve its curb appeal and even its market value. You can easily do this by yourself or you can hire some pros to make sure that everything will be done proper and right – from the type of paint color to use up to the painting process and procedure.

Wash exterior windows

Summertime is the only time of the year you can fully wash your windows from the outside. You might need some elbow grease to get your windows squeaky clean as it can effectively remove stubborn dust and dirt. If you are the type of homeowner who cleans exterior windows very often, a bit of soap, water and good cleaning solution could be enough to finish this project.

Clean window screens

Take off all of your window screens to fully clean them from top to bottom. You might need a good cleaning solution to remove and kind of dust, dirt and debris caught up between its tiny openings. If they are too dirty to be cleaned or you are seeing damages beyond repairs, then it’s time for you to replace them.

Clean air conditioner filter

Before blasting out your air conditioner, make sure that its filter is clean as ever. You can remove dirt and dust from it by washing with warm water or by the help of a vacuum cleaner.  Do this every two weeks to make sure that your air conditioner is working and cooling your home effectively. If you don’t regularly maintain your air conditioner, you may need to repair your central AC.

Clean the walkways and driveways

With the help of ever reliable pressure washer, wash away those dirt, dust and debris that invaded your walkway and pathway. You can also check it from any kind of cracks and damages as it can allow unwanted weeds to grow by themselves. If you found any, clean it up and repair it after.

Clean your baseboards

When is the last time you took the time to wipe your baseboards clean? If you can’t remember the date, then maybe it’s about time to do it this summer. Get down on your knees and start scrubbing and wiping the dirt away from your baseboard. Yes, it’s quite a grueling task for an adult person so why not ask the help of your younger family members? Just make sure to give them some sort of reward afterwards.

Inspect your hoses

Check the hoses of your dishwasher, dehumidifier, toiler, refrigerator and other appliance around your home. Look for any signs of leakage and repair immediately if you found any. Remember, hoses are prone to breaking especially if they are quite old.

Clean up your attic and your basement

Clean up and organize your attic this summer. Remove old and broken stuff to clear up some space. Look out for pests, insects, mold or mildew that might be hiding at your attic or basement.

These home projects are quite simple and easy to follow. So before you plan your summer vacation, spend a day or two cleaning and tidying up your home.